June primary election results: What happened in the most important races and why they matter

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The primary battles that took place in June covered some of the most important and largest states in the country, including Georgia, where former President Donald Trump engaged in — and failed at — a revenge tour dedicated to uprooting two top Republican officials.

In many of the GOP primaries Trump's influence played a significant role, but that didn't mean Democrats weren't without division as the party braces for what could be a bloodbath in November.

There are plenty of primary contests left this season, including August races in battleground states such as Arizona and Michigan. Here are some of the most important primary elections from the past month.

GOP Georgia governor

Going into 2022 Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp had earned the distinction as perhaps the most loathed Republican governor on Trump's list.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp waves to supporters during an election night watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. Kemp easily turned back a GOP primary challenge Tuesday from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who was backed by former President Donald Trump.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp waves to supporters during an election night watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. Kemp easily turned back a GOP primary challenge Tuesday from former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who was backed by former President Donald Trump.

The former president has dubbed Kemp a "turncoat" who was a "coward" and "total disaster" for refusing to help reverse the 2020 state presidential election results.

Yet Kemp easily fended off a challenge by Trump's preferred candidate, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, in a stinging rebuke by Georgia voters, who stuck with the incumbent by a 3-1 margin. Kemp is now heading into a 2018 rematch against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

GOP Georgia secretary of state

The only Georgia Republican who Trump arguably disliked more than Kemp was Brad Raffensperger, the Peach State's secretary of state.

Like the governor, Raffensperger's offense was standing up to Trump's false assertions about the last election and pleas to "find" more votes. The refusal to do the former president's bidding drew primary foes, chiefly U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who repeated many of the misleading claims about the 2020 contest.

Ultimately, however, Raffensperger edged out Hice with 52% of the vote, avoiding a further runoff. He will face Democrat Bee Nguyen in the fall.

Trump denied: Trump called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp a 'turncoat' and fought to defeat him. Here's why he won anyway.

More: Brad Raffensperger, GOP target of Trump ire in Georgia, warns of potential for more election violence

L.A. mayor's race

One of the primary battles that caught the country's attention was in Los Angeles, where Democratic Rep. Karen Bass faced off against billionaire Rick Caruso for mayor.

For months Bass, a physician assistant turned community organizer, was considered the front-runner. But that was before Caruso poured $13.5 million of his own money into the race, which turned it into a referendum on the influence of money in politics.

Rep. Karen Bass speaks during a mayoral debate at the Student Union Theater on the California State University, Los Angeles campus on May 1, 2022.
Rep. Karen Bass speaks during a mayoral debate at the Student Union Theater on the California State University, Los Angeles campus on May 1, 2022.

Caruso, who had been a Republican for most of his life, jumped to an early lead on election night. Once all votes were counted, however, Bass outpaced Caruoso 43% to 37%, but that still wasn't enough to avoid a runoff.

The two will meet again on Nov. 8.

More: Democratic frontrunners Rick Caruso, Karen Bass advance to November runoff in LA mayor race

San Francisco DA recall

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was one of the faces of a "progressive prosecutor" movement.

In 2019, he ran on a platform to end cash bail, reduce mass incarceration and crack down on police misconduct.

But the former public defender's reform efforts weren't enough to overcome a severe backlash fueled by rising property crime, frustrated Democrats and roughly $7.8 million spent on recall efforts.

More than 60% of San Francisco voters supported removing Boudin, which Republicans are touting as foreshadowing of a rebuke of Democrats and progressive activists on public safety and crime.

GOP Alabama Senate runoff

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., had quite a seesaw primary season in 2022.

First he had Trump's support for Senate. Then he lost it after telling supporters it was time to move the past the events of 2020.

But Brooks surged back against opponent Katie Britt and forced a run-off after she failed to crack the 50% threshold.

Mo Brooks, then a candidate for the Republican nomination to a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, speaks to supporters at his watch party May 24 in Huntsville, Ala. Brooks lost the primary to Katie Britt.
Mo Brooks, then a candidate for the Republican nomination to a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, speaks to supporters at his watch party May 24 in Huntsville, Ala. Brooks lost the primary to Katie Britt.

Brooks, however, was trounced in the one-on-one race, losing 63% to 37%. On election night the congressman was beside himself, telling a reporter he was quitting politics, saying the "bad guys won."

Now Brooks, who attended the rally before the Jan, 6 riots, is apparently wiling to testify before Congress about his interactions with Trump  the attack on the Capitol.

News: Trump pulls Senate endorsement of Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks

GOP Colorado secretary of state

One of the big themes of the 2022 primary season has been Trump-aligned candidates running for chief election officer seats in battleground states.

In Colorado, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was a vocal supporter of Trump's misleading statements about the 2020 election. She made multiple attempts at trying to prove those false claims of voter fraud too.

Peters, however, lost in the Republican primary by roughly 15%.

NEvada and beyond: In Nevada GOP primary, a fundamental shift in the secretary of state role

Will it work?: A prolific Democratic fundraiser is targeting secretary of state races

GOP Nevada secretary of state

Candidates running to oversee future elections who spread Trump's false claims may have struck out in Colorado and Georgia, but they fared better in Nevada.

Republican Jim Marchant seized on conspiracy theories about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. At one point during the campaign he told supporters in February how their vote "hasn’t counted for decades."

Marchant defeated six rivals by carrying 37% of the primary vote. He will face Democrat Francisco Aguilar in the fall.

2022 Midterms: A new 'Big Lie' battleground: secretary of state elections

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: June primary election results: The most important races and why